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As the metabolism of the culture has sped up in the digital age, pockets of the publishing industry are prodding themselves out of their Paleolithic ways and joining the rush, with more books on current events coming out faster than ever before reports Motoko Rich in today's New York Times.
For generations the publishing industry has worked on a fairly standard schedule, taking nine months to a year after an author delivered a manuscript to put finished books in stores. Now, enabled in part by e-book technology and fueled by a convergence of spectacularly dramatic news events, publishers are hitting the fast-forward button.
There's a proud White House tradition of cashing in — er, signing lucrative book deals — on the way out the door. That includes not only Presidents but also first ladies, secretaries of state, speechwriters and so on, all the way down to the White House chefs. But the common wisdom in Manhattan publishing circles was that George W. Bush would have to cool his heels for a while before he penned his memoir. The thinking: Bush's low approval ratings might render any presidential tell-all a toxic asset for his publisher.
But Thursday, Crown, an imprint of Random House, announced that the former President has signed on to write a book, to be published in fall 2010, tentatively titled Decision Points. According to the publishing house, "the book will not be a conventional memoir, but instead will focus exclusively on approximate a dozen of the most interesting and important decisions in the former President's personal and political life" — including his decision to quit drinking, his reaction to 9/11, his response to Hurricane Katrina; and how he found faith.
Full article at Time.com
Inside Higer Ed The University of Michigan Press is announcing today that it will shift its scholarly publishing from being primarily a traditional print operation to one that is primarily digital.
Within two years, press officials expect well over 50 of the 60-plus monographs that the press publishes each year -- currently in book form -- to be released only in digital editions. Readers will still be able to use print-on-demand systems to produce versions that can be held in their hands, but the press will consider the digital monograph the norm. Many university presses are experimenting with digital publishing, but the Michigan announcement may be the most dramatic to date by a major university press.
Literary bloggers have been debating the SXSW Festival's "New Think for Old Publishers" panel all day. As the short video (by Books and Authors) illustrates, the one-hour discussion exposed a tumultuous, ongoing debate the future of publishing.
Like many before him, the former head of state is writing a book...but rather than delivering a more traditional presidential memoir, he plans to explain twelve difficult personal and political decisions he has made.
According to Robert B. Barnett, the Washington lawyer who negotiated the deal with Crown on Mr. Bush’s behalf, the book will cover Mr. Bush’s decisions relating to Sept. 11, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Barnett said Mr. Bush would also write about why he ran for president, his decision to quit drinking, his discovery of religious faith, and his relationships with his parents, wife and siblings.
Mr. Barnett said Mr. Bush began working on a draft two days after he left office. “He’s already written 30,000 words,” Mr. Barnett said. “He has no collaborator, but he’s working with his former chief speech writer Christopher Michel.”
Online document sharing site Scribd has announced that it has partnered with a number of major publishers, including Random House, Simon & Schuster, Workman Publishing Co., Berrett-Koehler, Thomas Nelson, and Manning Publications, to legally offer some of their content to Scribd's community free of charge. Publishers have begun to add an array of content to Scribd's library, including full-length novels as well as briefer teaser excerpts.
The BBC site has an interview with author Bruce Sterling, "The difficulty with interviewing Bruce Sterling is knowing where to start. His interests range from literature and design culture, to futurism, political activism, micro and macro economics, technology and 11th Century writers.
Perhaps the simplest starting point would be: The future? Explain.
He is the author of 10 novels, many short stories and is one of the most interesting, magpie bloggers of the modern-day techno-infused culture."
His latest novel is "The Caryatids"
David Carr of the NYT imagines a secret meeting of top newspaper people complete with cigars and cognac. On the Agenda:
United, newspapers may stand.
Publishers Weekly reported that a "Son of Sam" type of legislation is being considered by the Illinois State Legislature; the bill would require “any elected official who is convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor involving a violation of his or her official oath of office to forfeit any monetary rights derived from any media depiction or detailing of the crime for which the person was convicted as a term of their sentence. The forfeiture lasts during the term of the sentence and any period of probation, parole or supervised release.”
The bill has the support of the full legislature, but opposition from First Amendment groups, led by the Motion Picture Association of America, is growing.
The longtime head of the book publishers' trade association is stepping down.
Former Rep. Pat Schroeder of Colorado, who has served for 12 years as president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers, says it's time for her "to move on."